Dallas ISD Opens Free Early Learning Centers for Children of First Responders

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Dallas Independent School District is opening two early learning centers for the children of first responders in Pre-K through 3rd grade.

On Thursday, staff members were busy preparing the centers to handle learning while doing social distancing.

No more than six students will be allowed in each classroom, and they will be kept a distance apart.

Early learning specialist Graciela Ochoa said it's an opportunity for Dallas ISD to experiment with social distancing in the classroom.

"It’s definitely something we’ll having to consider as we move into the future, maybe classroom size will be affected," said Ochoa.

The school district is partnering with the YMCA and Big Thought to open the centers, which will be available for children in Pre-K through 3rd grade.

One of the centers will be located at César Chávez Learning Center, 1710 North Carroll Avenue. The center will open on Monday, April 20, and will be operated by YMCA staff.

The other center will be located at the Montessori Academy at Onesimo Hernandez, located at 5555 Maple Avenue. This center is slated to open Wednesday, April 22, and will be operated by Big Thought staff.

That center is located in the middle of the Medical District with easy access to both Parkland and UT Southwestern.

Both centers will operate from 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m as many medical staff members work shifts from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The facility will operate on a first-come-first-served basis with a maximum of 50 students per site.

All children will have their temperatures checked before entering the center, and parents will not be allowed to enter the building, in cooperation with state guidelines.

In the past, County leaders have said childcare for essential personnel needed to be provided even during the quarantine.

Students will receive three meals and two snacks, and they will be provided with learning activities throughout the day.

Cleaning crews will deep clean each childcare center site daily after all students have been picked up.

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